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This dissertation explores the presence of moral distress and effective interventions to lessen its impact on critical care nurses. Manuscript one was completed prior to entering the doctor of philosophy in nursing program but was instrumental in building the foundation for successive work within this dissertation. An exploratory, descriptive designed study was used to examine moral distress and identify situations in which nurse's experienced high levels of moral distress. Nurses completed a 38-item moral distress scale, a coping questionnaire, and indicated their preferred methods for institutional support in managing distressing situations. Manuscript two includes a formal analysis of the Moral Distress Theory and identified limitations in the existing theoretical model based on a review of literature. Finally, manuscript three is a study identifying barriers and values during moral distress situations that can be used to potentially target interventions aimed at lessening the impact of moral distress.